Will the wind ever remember?
The names it has blown in the past
And with its crutch, its old age and its wisdom
It whispers “no, this will be the last” – Jimi Hendrix
Today, for the first time in four months, I went into a restaurant, sat at a booth, and ate a meal. Then, when I stood up to leave, I farted. It was pretty loud. I mention it because I don’t often fart in public. I mean, yeah… I don’t fart at home very much either. We weren’t allowed to fart at my house when I was growing up. The repercussions for such things were dire.
When I go to sleep and my inhibitions are low, I suspect that I fart a whole lot. I’ve woke myself up by farting. When I have to sleep in the same room with another person, I worry in a ferocious sort of way. In a fevered, desperate sort of way that I’ll fart. I snore too.
I’ll probably never get over farting in a quiet, Chinese restaurant. Even though we were seated in observance of social distancing guidelines, at least eleven people heard it. It was probably more than eleven people because more than eleven people stopped chewing and looked directly at me. I’m not even quite sure why I just said, eleven people.
The situation was exacerbated by the fact that, when I stood up and when I farted, I froze in a sort of half-seated, half-standing, deer in headlights way. I didn’t move again until my right thigh began twitching under the disproportionate weight of both my obese body and my swollen humiliation. I probably would have collapsed completely if my ego hadn’t shrunk to the size of a rye berry.
Once I was poised there, post fart… it was like I couldn’t figure out how to resume my momentum. All my motor skills were erased from the hard drive. An image of a little old man, wildly trying to turn the hand crank of a 1913 Studebaker came to mind, perspiration forming on his upper lip as he silently mouthed a prayer for that little spark of internal combustion to fire my cerebellum… my frontal lobe… anything but my ass.
When I resumed regular programming, I left a larger than customary tip, went to the counter, paid, and – another first – I got a toothpick from the toothpick holder and picked my teeth as I walked out to the car, belly full – sun in my face – just picking my teeth with a toothpick. I thought, you’re not the kind of person who walks out of a restaurant, picking their teeth with a toothpick. But a little voice in my head, probably the same little old man who was trying to crank start my imaginary engine, said… yeah… you’re exactly the kind of person who walks out of a restaurant, picking their teeth with a toothpick.